The Best of Kenya and Tanzania: A Classic Safari

Discover great national parks and rarely explored reserves as you search for big cats while learning about and photographing elephants, rhinos, zebras and more.
Rating (5)
Program No. 18783RJ
15 days
Starts at
Flights start at

At a Glance

Follow the endless cycle of life as you track the big five on the Serengeti plains. Trace the migratory path north through the remote Serengeti, an area rarely visited by outsiders, and cross into Kenya’s Maasai Mara reserve to search for the elusive leopard. Learn about elephants in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro and rhinos in the Great Rift Valley.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking and standing on uneven ground; some stairs. Riding for extended periods in safari vehicles over unpaved and very rough and dusty surfaces; getting in/out of vehicles requires flexibility. Elevations up to 7,500 feet. This program offers two internal light aircraft flights between Safari Parks.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Replicate the annual migration as you journey from the Serengeti plains, through its riverine forest and rocky promontories, into the Maasai Mara.
  • Search for the “Big Five” — lions, elephants, buffaloes, leopards and rhinos — in East Africa’s most iconic national parks.
  • Discover the unique ecosystem of the Ngorongoro Crater.

General Notes

All dates have a 12-person maximum. Each participant will have a window seat in one of the two safari vans; there will be one Group Leader who will share time between the two vehicles. Our program follows the yearly migration route, capturing different stages of the migration throughout the year. January-February is calving season for hooved animals. June-July see perfect weather. Animals prepare for the hardest part of the migration. September, peak tourist season, coincides with the migration through the Mara. October sees the migration move into the Serengeti. November-December are a birder's dream, with many species visiting from Eurasia. Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Michael Nichols, Earth to Sky: Among Africa's Elephants, a Species in Crisis
by Michael Nichols
Iain Douglas-Hamilton, J. Michael Fay, Peter Matthiessen, Cynthia Moss and David Quammen contribute to National Geographic photographer Michael "Nick" Nichols' stunning tribute to the elephant. Taken from two decades of work in Africa, the book includes a chapter on Daphne Sheldrick's work with orphaned elephants.
Cathedral of the Wild: An African Journey Home
by Boyd Varty
Varty depicts his life on safari in a beautiful and adventurous story of relationships and balance with others, the land, and the wildlife.
Birds of the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Conservation Area
by Adam Scott Kennedy
Featuring a habitat-based approach to more than 270 bird species, this handy guide to fowl in Tanzania's Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Speke Gulf includes 480 color photos and accessible text.
A Guide to the Birds of East Africa, A Novel
by Nicholas Drayson
Drayson draws on his time in Nairobi for this sweet novel about East Africa society -- revolving, naturally, around birding and the Hunt Ball at the Asadi Club. Reality intervenes in the shape of renegade Somalis.
West with the Night
by Beryl Markham
Beryl Markham evokes the landscapes, people and wildlife of East Africa in engrossing detail in this classic memoir of amazing adventures as a bush pilot in 1930s Kenya, a favorite.
African Heroes, Samburu-maasai
by Matteo Guzzini (Photographer)
Guzzini captures the rituals and travels of the mysterious Masaai communities of Tanzania and Kenya in beautiful, untouched photographs that honor the people and their land.
Serengeti Spy
by Anup Shah
A hoof-level view of the Masai Mara and Serengeti. Photographer Anup Shah lets the wildlife reveal themselves, placing small remote cameras at watering holes, outcrops and other strategic spots. The ground-level view is as surprising as it is clever, putting you face-to-face with lion and cheetah and wildebeest and all the creatures in action across the plains.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
by Ma Company (Tanzania)
An attractive, colorful and informative sketch map of the area with notes on wildlife and conservation at a scale of 2:210,000.
The Tree Where Man Was Born
by Peter Matthiessen
A classic portrait of East Africa, enthralling in its detail on nature and daily life. Includes Masai, Ngorongoro, the Kenyan highlands and Mathiessen's field trips, safaris and adventures in the Serengeti.
Wildlife of East Africa
by Martin B. Withers
This take-along guide to 475 common species of birds, mammals, reptiles, insects, trees and flowers of East Africa features full-color photographs with detailed descriptions on facing pages.
The Worlds of a Maasai Warrior
by Ole Saitoti
Bridging several worlds with tremendous grace, Saitoti looks back on his life among the Maasai, both as spokesperson for his tribe and as one of the first Maasai safari guides.
Kenya & Northern Tanzania (Serengeti) Map
by Nelles
A detailed map (1:1,100,000) with inset maps of Lamu, Nairobi and Mombasa.
The Safari Companion
by Richard Estes
An invaluable encyclopedic guide to Africa's mammals by a noted scientist, this perennial bestseller includes black-and-white drawings, an overview of each animal group and in-depth information. Written with the typical safari-goer in mind.
Big Five of Africa
by Gerald Hinde (Photographer)
Hinde's stunning photographs celebrate Africa's lions, elephants, leopards, rhinos and buffalo.